New Prize Recognizes IGS Students Who Uncovered Fraud

photo of Broockman and Kalla
January 12, 2016

Two IGS graduate students whose careful work last year prompted the retraction of a major study by the journal Science have now been recognized with a major new prize.

David Broockman and Joshua Kalla received one of the inaugural Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science, which are supported by the John Templeton Foundation and awarded by the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences.

Last year Broockman and Kalla discovered that they could not replicate the findings of a major study on the ability of canvassers to change attitudes on same-sex marriage. Their detective work, which eventually also included Yale political scientist Peter Aronow, led to the retraction of the original study, which may have been based on falsified data. Aronow received the Leamer-Rosenthal Prize along with Broockman and Kalla.

“Senior academics have recognized their courage in going public with their findings, an act that can be risky for young researchers,” the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency said in announcing the prize.

Seven other prize recipients were also honored with Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes, which were created to recognize a commitment to openness, integrity, and transparency among social science researchers. Each individual winner or group of winners receives a $10,000 award for the Leamer-Rosenthal Prize.

The work by Broockman, Kalla and Aronow was covered in many national news outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The New Yorker.

When they first attempted to replicate the study, both Broockman and Kalla were doctoral students in political science and Graduate Fellows at IGS. Broockman has since become a faculty member at Stanford University, while Kalla remains in the Berkeley political science doctoral program.